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URSULA Agriculture branchout and innovate with Agri-Tech

Monday 26th of January 2015

URSULA Agriculture branchout and innovate with Agri-Tech

Crop data business URSULA Agriculture states it is leading the way in the use of UAVs (drones) in British precision agriculture as it nears the end of its second year trading. 

Working with a number of leading agri-businesses, the company in 2014 provided analysis on crop performance and weed pressures on over 2.5m ha of cropping, using UAVs, light aircraft and satellites. 2014 also saw the business secure funding for two ground-breaking Agri-Tech research projects, as well as expansion into East Anglia, with a new office in Norfolk. 

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 “As more and more businesses appreciate that improved crop data is key to increasing efficiencies, there’s also growing recognition of the benefits that URSULA Agriculture can generate,” said Steve Keyworth, director of URSULA Agriculture. 

Having developed the proven ability to map and quantify black-grass in standing wheat crops, URSULA Agriculture's range of services to agriculture is expanding.  “We also work with potato and horticulture businesses, providing growers with key information on emergence, development, weed problems and yield forecasting for crops such as lettuce and onions,” explained Steve, and our Trials service is used by increasing numbers of breeders and research institutes to improve analysis and speed up selections. In the past year alone we’ve analysed over 20,000 trial plots.” 

The Agri-Tech, Innovate UK supported projects will see URSULA Agriculture working with a broad range of food, agriculture and research bodies to apply its aerial data capture and analysis in new ways in UK crop production.  The first project, led by URSULA Agriculture working with James Hutton Institute, Mylnefield Research, Manor Fresh and Agrii, will look at mapping disease in potato crops. With a focus on improving pesticide targeting, the project aims to generate increased production efficiencies, lower inputs and reduced wastage. 

The second project, led by PepsiCo with support from NIAB, Aberystwyth University, James Hutton Institute, Mylnefield Research aims to capitalise on the growing demand for food-grade oats. URSULA Agriculture will use UAVs to help develop on-farm decision tools, aimed at increasing oat yields to maximise grower returns and efficiencies. 

“In only our second year of trading we have dramatically increased the area of data capture and analysis,” said Steve. “And as we move forwards into 2015 our involvement in two high level research projects, continuing work on the persistent black-grass problem together with our regular data capture and analysis activities will further enhance our reputation for bringing innovation into the industry.” 


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